Iowa Institute of Human Genetics

  • Genetics Cluster Faculty Members


    Anna Malkova, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department of Biology
    (319) 384-1285

    Research Interest(s)

    Dr. Malkova’s research is aimed to unravel mechanisms of DNA repair. In particular, she is interested in repair of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs), which are dangerous because their imprecise or faulty repair often leads to mutations and chromosome aberrations that cause genetic diseases and cancer. Malkova’s research focuses on one pathway of DSB repair called Break-Induced Replication (BIR), which she described during her postdoctoral research at Brandeis University. BIR is similar to normal DNA replication in its processivity and rate, but the resulting repaired chromosome comes at a great cost to the cell, as BIR promotes mutagenesis, loss of heterozygosity, translocations, and copy number variations, all hallmarks of carcinogenesis. Despite the dramatic effects BIR can have on genetic stability, the mechanism of BIR responsible for its destabilizing effects, as well as its role in promoting genetic instabilities leading to cancer remain unclear. The aim of Malkova is to fill these gaps in our knowledge by BIR in baking yeast, a model eukaryotic organism. The knowledge obtained in yeast will be used to analyze human cancer genomes to determine the role of BIR in promoting genomic instabilities leading to cancer.

    To learn more about the Genetics Cluster, click here.